How Will a Vaccine Mandate Affect Truck Drivers?


Photo by Diana Polekhina on Unsplash

After expressing frustration with some citizens who have not yet received the vaccine for COVID, President Biden announced a new plan for vaccine mandates. The mandate will force all federal workers and contractors to receive the vaccine.

But it’s not only government employees that will be required to get the jab. Companies with 100 or more employees will also be required to mandate the vaccine or have regular tests.

Of course, there are some exemptions, including Congress and their staff members.

Where does the mandate put truck drivers?

The immediate question regarding truck drivers is whether or not the driver is a company driver or an owner-operator.

A company driver is an employee. As a result, company drivers for large trucking companies are likely to be required to get the vaccine or receive regular testing.

Owner-operators are independent contractors. The vaccine mandate, which will be further developed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, is currently unclear about how it will treat these contractors and subcontractors who may work with, but are not employed by, a large company.

What about vaccine mandate exemptions for truck drivers?

The federal government also has a strong incentive to keep truck drivers at work. If a large amount of drivers went on strike or left their jobs due to a vaccine mandate, the entire American economy and the health of many citizens would be in danger.

We’ve already witnessed times during COVID and other emergencies, when various regulations such as Hours of Service (HOS) were waived for truck drivers, due to their essential jobs. It’s possible that similar exemptions will be made for truck drivers regarding the vaccine mandate.

More information coming soon.

More information about the vaccine mandate is needed. The Safer Federal Workforce Task Force should clarify the federal contractor stipulations by September 24th, and hopefully that will clear up the mandate situation for owner-operators.

This is a contentious topic, so stay up to date and let us know what you think on the Class A Driver forums.